The most convenient way to save money
We've found the most convenient way to save money that all parents need to know. Find out how to get free access to the award winning Beanstalk app and save when you shop.
Your first ever savings account
Do you remember setting up your first proper savings account? I certainly do. It was the early 1990s and I have happy memories of being taken to a giant building that housed our family bank on the corner of my local high street. I was formally greeted with a ‘good morning Miss’ as I went in. It felt great.
The bank was a nice place to go then. The rows of comfy low seating, surrounded by brochures about mortgages and tiny pens to help sort your paperwork was comforting. And at our bank you’d usually bump into someone you knew and squeeze in a quick catch up at the weekend.
But times have changed. That bank branch has now closed, as have four other branches of the same bank locally to me. I remember thinking how convenient it was when I bought my current house, that at least one branch of my bank was within walking distance. Until it closed too, last year.
The solution to inconvenient banking
This is the precise reason I hadn’t set up savings accounts for my children until recently - the inconvenience of it all. Getting to a physical bank branch with three kids and all the right documents never made the top of my to do list. Furthermore, the nostalgia about my own experience - I knew - wouldn’t be repeated. Banks aren’t what they once were, I’m sure you’ll agree.
What is Beanstalk?
Looking for an alternative, I started talking to Beanstalk, an award-winning app that helps you to save money for your kids without the faff of going to a bank. I quickly learnt that all of the reasons I’d put off opening up accounts for my kids was the reason Beanstalk would work for me - quick, easy, efficient and importantly, accessible on my mobile phone.
How easy is it to set up?
So how does it work. Let me walk you through how I set the accounts up. I downloaded the Beanstalk app, created an account using my email and opened up Stocks & Shares Junior
ISAs for each of my kids in minutes from my phone. I didn’t need any ID like banks often do, such as birth certificates, passports or bills. I popped in a cute photo of each of my kids on their profile, checked it over, and that was it.
How do you put money into their accounts?
The next thing to do was to decide what to put in their account. I decided to give them £20 each to begin with, as a one off payment whilst I explored the other options of which there are many. These include top ups where you pop money in as a one off payment from your bank account or set up a regular contribution for as little as £10 a month. We find some months are more expensive than others, and so the flexibility to put in what we can is really reassuring and helpful
Invite family and friends to contribute
A brilliant feature of Beanstalk is being able to send invites to friends or family. This is particularly brilliant for birthdays, Christmas or for anyone who isn’t a fan of their child receiving a cheque or bank note in a card. This feature means that the person is then linked to your child’s account in the future and will be able to contribute as and when they wish to. This could be particularly handy for grandparents or family members who might want to contribute on a regular basis.
Save whilst you shop
Another feature is being able to save money when you shop. Beanstalk has a sister service called Kidstart which enables you to earn money when you shop with over 2000 brands including Argos, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and H&M. The money you earn from these purchases is then saved into your children's Beanstalk accounts (and split between them if you have more than one).
How Round Ups work
And if you’re not sure how much you want to save, you might fancy the Round Ups feature. This lets you connect your existing bank account to your Beanstalk account and round up any purchases you make to the nearest, £1. That round up is then distributed evenly between any accounts you have set up with Beanstalk.
Peace of mind for parents
Beanstalk really is a really great way for parents to start saving for their kids. Their app means saving is totally painless with no bank visits to open up accounts, no tricky online banking or statements in the post. Their customer service is incredibly quick and efficient, so no lengthy phone calls or the frustration that goes with it either.
The app is totally free to use and the only charge is a teeny annual fee of 0.5% of the account value, one of the lowest fees around for Stocks & Shares ISAs and Junior ISAs. What this means is that you can get a good night's sleep, knowing that any money you have saved for your kids is in a safe place, with low fees and all available at the touch of a button on your phone.
Stocks and Shares can be a great way to grow your money*
Many people choose stocks & shares when saving over longer periods as growth can compensate for the ups and downs. For example, over 50 years UK Shares returned over four times more than cash.
Source: Barclays Equity Gilt Study 2016
* As with any investment the value can go down as well as up. Past performance is no indicator of future performance.
If you would like to download Beanstalk you can do so here:
This is a collaborative post with Beanstalk. As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice. Beanstalk is a trading name of KidStart Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority